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MLB players pay tribute to Dodgers legend on Jackie Robinson Day

National Baseball Hall of Fame member Ozzie Smith asks a question about a Jackie Robinson jersey on display while touring the National Baseball Hall of Fame traveling exhibit on Aug. 26, 2016, in St. Louis. Robinson was a six-time All-Star with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
National Baseball Hall of Fame member Ozzie Smith asks a question about a Jackie Robinson jersey on display while touring the National Baseball Hall of Fame traveling exhibit on Aug. 26, 2016, in St. Louis. Robinson was a six-time All-Star with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

April 15 (UPI) -- Players from around Major League Baseball paid homage to then-Brooklyn Dodgers icon Jackie Robinson on the day named in his honor.

Despite MLB's temporary shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, teams and players celebrated the legacy of Robinson with a variety of tributes on social media Wednesday.

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MLB adopted the annual "Jackie Robinson Day" tradition on April 15, 2004, on which every person on every team wears No. 42 in honor of Robinson. With no games taking place, players found other ways to pay tribute to the baseball legend for his contributions to the sport.

On this date in 1947, Robinson broke the MLB color barrier with the Dodgers, paving the way for other players and managers who have gone on to build their own legacies. During his 10-year MLB career, the six-time All-Star was named NL Most Valuable Player in 1949 and won a World Series championship in 1955.

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Former Detroit Tigers star outfielder Curtis Granderson, who retired this year, announced Wednesday that he will donate 42,000 meals to the COVID-19 food bank partners in honor of Robinson's iconic jersey number, which is retired across the league.

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"Although baseball may be on pause, today is bigger than baseball," Granderson wrote on Twitter.

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New Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts and relief pitcher Kenley Jansen also paid tribute to Robinson with clips from Jordan Brand on Twitter. Dodgers pitcher David Price, who was traded to Los Angeles this year, also expressed his excitement to play on the same team as one of his all-time favorite players.

"I have been looking forward to this day since being traded to L.A.," Price wrote on twitter. "Can't wait to get back to doing what we love! In the meantime, let's just stay home and stay safe."

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New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman shared his Robinson-inspired tattoo on social media. The All-Star pitcher said Robinson "paved the way for African Americans to play the sport I love."



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In honor of Robinson, Thomas Tull, who produced the movie about the legendary slugger's life, "42," pledged to donate $4.2 million worth of personal protective equipment to health care organizations that serve African American communities and other areas hardest hit by COVID-19.

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